I found this industry-themed article today, published by NACS – The Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing – which highlights how a North Carolina convenience store chain has used craft beer growlers to grow its business.
Triangle Stop is a 10-unit chain in western NC, but four of its locations offer growler taps and on-premise beer and wine permits that allow customers to sample on site.
In May 2014, the Mountain River Tap & Growler bar opened inside the Mills River Triangle Stop, becoming the first convenience store in North Carolina with a growler bar after NC legalized the containers. Other locations followed – with a Saluda location in October 2014, Brevard in 2015, and the newest location at the Asheville Regional Airport. The beer business has been good: In the next two years, the company plans to demolish and rebuild at least one other current Triangle Stop location to add a growler bar.
This is no ordinary convenience store – two of the growler bars offer limited seating, providing an experience more like a small neighborhood bar, and plenty of local Asheville brews and ciders on tap. Monthly events are hosted at each of the Triangle Stops with a growler bar, and partner events with local breweries are common. Customers have three options: 32-oz and 64-oz glass growler fills, and a 32-oz sealable can for single use.
Triangle Stop VP Beau Waddell states, “Overall, customer response to the growlers and bar has been “wonderful. Folks who come in can’t believe we offer such a variety of local beer on tap,” he said. “It’s unexpected but welcomed by the community.”
Full article by NACS Magazine contributor Sarah Hamaker can be found here.